US Olympic Team - Roster Pattern Baldness?

I've got a chicken or the egg question for you. Was it former DC United head coach Piotr Nowak who infected current DC United head coach Tommy Soehn, or Soehn who infected Nowak? Or are they both suffering from acute Kasper-Payne-itis? The reason I ask is this: the roster for the Olympic team is starting to resemble the one we're currently alternating between lambasting and ruing here in Black-and-Red land.

Sketchy depth up top but with some options, a bloated midfield, and comically low numbers of defenders. Sound familiar, DC United fans?

My first glance at the roster gave me this impression. The addition of midfielder Dax McCarty to replace injured defender Nathan Sturgis only confirms the problem. Hell, US Soccer itself is in complete denial, listing McCarty as a defender on its own roster list.

Let's take a closer look at that defense. Orozco is a left or center back, and I think I've seen mention that he plays left back for San Luis. Wynne will be the option on the right, no matter how fallible you or I may consider him as a defender. Ianni and Parkhust are center backs, though Parkhurst should be able to play on the right.

Four defenders! Well, I suppose that TFC's Maurice Edu has played center back for the U-23's despite being a midfielder, so you can add him into the mix and make it five defenders.

But he's our only depth.

Four defenders and a converted midfielder.

Let's contrast that with the center of midfield, where we can go with the aforementioned Edu, Szetela, Bradley, Feilhaber, Kljestan, or Adu. Yes, yes, Adu can be a forward or wing, and Kjestan can play wide as well, but that's six players to cover two (possibly three, depending upon the formation) central midfield spots.

We've got some flexibility (much like United) in attacking options, as some of the players can play as wings or forwards, or as attacking mids or forwards. There isn't too much to concern me there. In fact, I'm quite relieved that the likes of Findley and Barrett couldn't get a spot on this team.

But that defense is another matter entirely. Here in United-land, we're feeling the pain of what injury and too many minutes over a short span of time can do to a handful of competent defenders trying to cover four positions. So I've got one question for the US coaching brain-trust who put together this roster . . .


Seriously, Piotr--WTF?


  1. Good point. Dax McCarty is a luxury choice because we definitely didn't need another central midfielder. Why no Kamani Hill? He played at least as good if not better than Wynne in qualifying I thought.

  2. Can't say I saw too much of the qualifying matches--mostly highlights (which tend to ignore great defensive efforts), but it's astounding to me that any team would enter a tournament with only four true defenders.

    Actually, make that three. Wynne was excellent for the U-20's, when his athletic gifts compensated for a dire lack of skill, but I tend to think that he'll find himself more and more exposed defensively as he encounters more experienced and technical competition.